Baserow Idea: A dynamic field (like in Rowy)

Is there any way for me to add a field that visually displays a remotely hosted image?

Specifically: I am creating a Bookmark database so I can share resources with my team. I know I could use the API to populate fields with data I pull in from APIs about a url but what if I want to display a thumbnail for these links but don’t want to upload that images to baserow and, instead, just link to the image created by the remote URL to SCREENSHOT THUMBNAIL API?

Advantages of this:

  • Keep the baserow database smaller and minimize all the read-write
  • Always keep getting the latest screenshot data from the remote API without read-write to baserow
  • Open possibility for, possibly, many different use cases of people wanting to display remote data … I also have a font database where I have to upload a screenshot of what the font looks like and it results in some inconsistency of output and it would be better if these images were created from the GoogleFonts API in the same way …

I have played with Rowy but gave up quickly because it just seemed too complicated and I didn’t like being locked into Google/Firebase and really prefer the simplicity and design of Baserow. I can see the power of the tools ability to integrate with many NPM packages, however.

Continued thanks for all the hard work to the Baserow squad on a beautiful product.

Replying to myself: The “upload from a URL” option for attachments is very useful and flexible because you can just create a formula field an concat your way to some auto population of a thumbnail like this:

BUT … I think Baserow is still uploading this image and not displaying it by linking to remote version and this was what my post was about.

For now, I am taking heavy advantage of the URL by url ability.


You can create the thumbnail-like images by pasting their URL-addresses:

UPD: As I understand, you need to dynamically change URL of an image depending on another text field. @bram , @nigel , is it possible to programmatically change content of File field (i.e. change URL of the image)?

Hey @bfranklin and @AlexP, currently, it’s only possible to show thumbnails in a file field if you have actually uploaded the file to Baserow, either via direct file upload or uploading via URL. This is because Baserow needs to detect the file type, thumbnail images and dimensions. At some point, we might want to allow conversation from a URL to file field, and then automatically download those files.

If we allowed using a formula or maybe another field, to show file thumbnails related to a URL that’s provided, we could run into the problem that the external web server might not allow embedding those images, or that we don’t have thumbnails, and we need to potentially fetch many big images for only a couple of rows.

Would you mind elaborating more on how this works in Rowy?

Hi @bram, I suppose that @bfranklin means that in Rowy users can use NodeJS code as a field formula:

You can find this screen at home Rowy page: